PRESS RELEASE | THURSDAY 14 MAY 2020
Mindful Business Charter attracts 15 new organisations across multiple industries to commit to better working practices for mental health and wellbeing

The last weeks and months have seen unprecedented and immediate changes to the ways in which many of us work. Those changes provide both opportunity and at the same time risk to the mental health of us all. Focussing on creating healthier and more effective ways of working, and doing so through open dialogue and collaboration, the Mindful Business Charter is more relevant and needed than ever. On 14 May, in advance of Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK, and by webinar in light of the lock down, we will mark 18 months since the Charter was launched. As well as celebrating its success over that period, we will reflect on its relevance to our new normal and welcome the new organisations as they publicly commit to the Charter.

The Mindful Business Charter is a movement of organisations collaborating together to change the way they work with each other and internally, to foster better working practices for mental health and wellbeing. It currently has 39 signatories, with a further 15 committing from a range of industries on 14 May. Although formal signature will be deferred to October 2020, by committing to the Charter, these new signatories are joining the collective commitment to change working practices to remove the unnecessary stress that can affect employees’ mental health and wellbeing, while also improving effective working and productivity.

New organisations committing to the charter (in addition to Goldman Sachs who signed up in January 2020) are Allen & Overy, Allied Irish Banks, Firefish, 4 New Square chambers, Howden Employee Benefits & Wellbeing, JMC Legal Recruitment, Linklaters, Matheson, Mills & Reeve,

Pantheon, Shoosmiths, Travers Smith, Unilever, Ward Hadaway and Womble Bond Dickinson.

Richard Martin, director of byrne·dean and leading on their MBC work, said: “The Charter is the one initiative in business that goes beyond raising awareness and educating people about mental health and actually seeks to tackle some of the causes of the stress so many people feel. It could not be more relevant at the present time as we tackle the challenges and opportunities of our new working lives against a backdrop of heightened anxiety on so many different levels. At byrne·dean we exist to create kinder, fairer, more productive workplaces and so the MBC lies at the heart of our purpose. It works through collaboration – open and honest dialogue and shared learning. The more businesses that come on board, the greater the cumulative impact. It is therefore fantastic to be welcoming these new signatories.”

Speaking on behalf of the founding group, Philip Aiken, Managing Director at Barclays said: “Our initial vision for the MBC was to bring banks’ in-house legal teams and their legal services providers together to reach a shared agenda for mental health wellbeing. We are so encouraged to see not only several more of our counterparts signing 18 months on, but organisations across a variety of industries, which will accelerate our goal to see these principles applied in all organisations across all sectors.”

The MBC has the support of mental health charity Mind, the City Mental Health Alliance, the International Bar Association, the Law Societies of England and Wales and of Scotland, LawCare and the Solicitors Regulatory Authority.

Further information on the Mindful Business Charter can be found at www.mindfulbusinesscharter.com or contact Richard Martin at richard.martin@byrnedean.com.